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Peterson Named NFC Offensive Player of the Week

Posted by Mike Wobschall on October 24, 2012 – 8:41 am

Vikings RB Adrian Peterson ran for 153 yards and 1 TD on 23 carries against the Arizona Cardinals last week. That performance was good enough to earn him NFC Offensive Player of the Week honors.

Randall Liu, the NFL’s Director of NFC Football Communications, announced via Twitter on Wednesday that Peterson was selected for the honor.

This is the 6th time Peterson has earned NFC Offensive Player of the Week honors.


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Frazier Says Vikings Must Match Buccaneers Intensity

Posted by Mike Wobschall on October 24, 2012 – 8:21 am

The Vikings are 5-2, have won three of their last four contests, are coming off a victory over Arizona last Sunday, and are playing at home (where they are 4-0 this season) in prime time for the first time since 2009. Their opponent is two games under .500, has lost four of its last five games and is traveling on a short week.

Throw in the fact that home teams are winning at a 63.6% clip in Thursday night games since 2006 and have won five of six contests in 2012, and it’s clear Mr. Momentum is on the Vikings side.

But Vikings Head Coach Leslie Frazier is not letting his team fall into that trap.

“They’re in so many games, every week battling right to the very end,” Frazier said of his team’s opponent this week, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. “I think Greg Schiano and his staff, they have those guys fighting, and they seem to be prepared every week. They play with a lot of energy across the board, on special teams, offense and defense, and that’s been very impressive to see. We’ll have to really rise up and match their intensity on Thursday night.”

Frazier makes a good point. The Buccaneers may be 2-4, but the two wins came in impressive fashion and the four losses were all tight ball games. Tampa Bay collected a division win to open the season – defeating Carolina 16-10 at home – and then they steamrolled the Kansas City Chiefs at home in Week 6 by a count of 38-10. Their four losses have come by an average of just 5.5 points and none of the losses have been by more than 7 points. Last week’s loss came down to the final play, with QB Josh Freeman throwing into the end zone.

Speaking of Freeman, he’s on fire the past two games. The fourth-year passer has 748 passing yards and a 6-1 TD-INT ratio the past two games. Defensively, the Buccaneers rank 3rd in rushing yards allowed per game (76.0) and 1st in yards per carry allowed (3.1). On special teams, Tampa Bay is the only team with a higher touchback percentage than the Vikings.

“They’re doing a lot of good things across the board,” Frazier said, “and we’re going to have to play our best football to be successful at Mall of America Field on Thursday night.”


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Vikings And U.S. Bank Offer Fans 24-Hour “No Service Fee” Ticket Promotion

Posted by Mike Wobschall on October 23, 2012 – 4:25 pm

In partnership with U.S. Bank, the Minnesota Vikings are offering Vikings fans a first-of-its-kind, 24-hour “No Service Fee” ticket promotion, beginning tonight at midnight.

From midnight to midnight on Wednesday, October 24, this unique offer allows Vikings fans to pay only the ticket price and eliminates all service fees – including processing/convenience fees, service charges and standard delivery costs – on single-game tickets for the following 2012 regular season home games:

Thursday, October 25 – Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Sunday, November 11 – Detroit Lions
Sunday, December 9 – Chicago Bears

The promotion also includes a very limited number of two-game packages available for:

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (10/25) and Green Bay Packers (12/30)
Detroit Lions (11/11) and Green Bay Packers (12/30)

Fans looking to take advantage of this promotion can contact Ticketmaster at 800.745.3000 or visit either Ticketmaster.com or vikings.com. Vikings single-game ticket prices start at $39 and the 2-game packages start at $78. Visit www.vikings.com/stadium to view the single-game ticket prices and the Mall of America Field map.


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7 Vikings-Buccaneers Subplots

Posted by Mike Wobschall on October 23, 2012 – 11:44 am

The Vikings and Buccaneers are fast at work preparing for their Thursday night showdown at Mall of America Field. Both teams had quick turnarounds after playing home games on Sunday.  Here are a few subplots to watch this week…

1. Quick Turnaround, Short Week
The Vikings and Buccaneers are both coming off 7-point games that will have concluded just 4 days prior to kickoff of their matchup in Minnesota. The short week presents challenges for both teams as they prepare for the game. But there’s an additional challenge for the Buccaneers because they’ll jump on a plane Wednesday afternoon, spending  valuable time during the short week up in the air and away from home.

According to Mike Garafolo of USA Today, since the NFL Network started its late-season Thursday broadcasts in 2006, road teams are 20-35 in the games. Garafolo notes that the figure includes Thanksgiving games (the Dallas Cowboys and Detroit Lions are a combined 5-7 as home teams) but excludes season openers because they’re not played on short weeks. It also includes a New York Jets victory against the Buffalo Bills in Toronto that was a neutral-site matchup, not a true away game.

2. Looking For A Bounce-Back Performance From Ponder
There’s no hiding from the fact that Vikings QB Christian Ponder is coming off a poor outing against the Arizona Cardinals. Ponder himself was critical of his own performance following the game, and you can sense from listening to him speak with reporters that it bothers him to no end. The key now is to do something about it.

Past performances indicate that Ponder will indeed bounce back. We’ve seen Ponder bounce back from poor moments in games to lead the Vikings to points. Ponder had two INTs in the middle of the Titans game in Week 5, but responded in the 2nd half with a pair of TDs in leading the Vikings to victory.

You can count Vikings Head Coach Leslie Frazier as one who believes Ponder will respond on Thursday night following the effort on Sunday.

“When you look at moments where he’s struggled, and then you’ve seen him bounce back, even after the first interception to come back and take us down for a score when he threw the pass to Percy [Harvin] for a touchdown, those are signs that he’s maturing as a quarterback,” Frazier said. “He’s able to put bad plays behind him and that’s what you have to be able to do at that position. That’s important to our team, it’s important to him. I am. I’m confident that he’ll just continue to get better as time goes on.”

3. Strength vs. Strength: Vikings Rushing Offense vs. Buccaneers Rushing Defense
Adrian Peterson showed on Sunday against Arizona that 8- and 9-man fronts weren’t enough to slow him down. The Cardinals presented that road block for much of the game, yet Peterson still ran for 153 yards and 1 TD on 23 carries. Expect the Buccaneers to devise a plan to slow down #28.

Tampa Bay has done a good job of stopping opponents from the running the ball this season. They’ve allowed just one opposing rusher – Washington’s Alfred Morris – to top 100 yards this season and they rank #1 in the NFL by allowing just 3.1 yards per carry. Also, no team registered more opponent’s rushes of negative yards than Tampa Bay (37).

Although it’s not a tangible factor you can assess during the game, preparing for an opponent on a short week – with travel thrown in for Tampa Bay – and then playing two games within 4 days of one another is a significant subplot to this matchup.

4. Playing At Home, Can Vikings Defense Slow Down Freeman-to-Jackson Combo
Buccaneers QB Josh Freeman has played as well as any QB in the NFL the past two weeks, throwing for 748 yards with 6 TDs and just 1 INT the past two games. He’s taken just 2 sacks and has 8 completions of 25+ yards in that same span. While you certainly don’t anticipate Tampa Bay abandoning the run on Thursday night, it also wouldn’t be surprising to see them try to attack through the air with a QB who is on a roll.

Freeman’s top target this season has been his newest target – free agent signing Vincent Jackson. The 6-5, 230-pound pass-catcher is one of the League’s best, and Vikings Head Coach Leslie Frazier said on Wednesday that his route running is one thing that stands out about him. Jackson leads the Buccaneers in targets (60), receptions (27), receiving yards (586), receptions of 20+ yards (10) and receiving TDs (5). When Freeman goes to Jackson, it’s for the big play. He had a 95-yard grab last week against the Saints, and 25 of Jackson’s 27 catches have gone for a 1st down or TD.

The Vikings have done a nice job of neutralizing top threats. They held Detroit’s Calvin Johnson to 5 receptions for 54 yards and zero TDs in Week 4, Tennessee’s Chris Johnson to 24 yards on 15 carries, and Arizona’s Larry Fitzgerald to 4 receptions for 29 yards. Defending Freeman-to-Jackson will be as tough a task as they’ve had this season.

5. Can Tampa Bay Slow Vikings Pass Rush?
The Vikings pass rush relentless pursued (and sacked) Cardinals QB John Skelton last Sunday. The defensive line was particularly productive, registering 6.0 of the Vikings 7 sacks on the day. DEs Brian Robison (3.0) and Jared Allen (2.0) got to him often, DT Kevin Williams tallied a key sack late in the game and then CB Antoine Winfield got a big on a 4th and 2 in the 2nd half.

Can Tampa Bay slow the NFL’s 3rd best pass-rushing defense? The Vikings have 22 sacks on the season, tied for 3rd, and no team has more sacks than their 72 since the beginning of 2011.

But Tampa Bay can pass protect. They have a mammoth offensive line, as their smallest lineman is C Jeremy Zuttah at 6-4, 308 pounds. Three others are 6-5 and their RT – Demar Dotson – is 6-9, 315 pounds. On top of that, Freeman is a big, strong athlete in the pocket and can be hard to bring down. The Buccaneers have permitted just 9 sacks through the first 6 games, which ranks tied for 4th best in the NFL.

6. Vikings In Prime Time
Most coaches and veterans will insist that a prime time game is “just another game.” Frazier explained to reporters on Tuesday that Thursday’s game is important to him because it’s the next game, not because it’s a prime time game.

That’s the prudent way for coaches and players to frame the game. But we don’t have to be prudent about framing the game. We can be excited to watch the Vikings play in prime time.

Thursday’s matchup between the Vikings and Buccaneers is one that features former NFC Central rivals. The Vikings and Buccaneers battled as division opponents from 1977-2001. As for playing on Thursday night, the Vikings own a 5-6 record in such games, are hosting their 1st NFL Network game in team history, and are playing in only their 2nd ever game on NFL Network, with the 1st being at Green Bay in December of 2006. This game will also mark the 1st prime time game at Mall of America Field since Green Bay visited in October of 2009.

The Vikings are 57-55 all-time in prime time games.

7. Matt Blair Goes Into Vikings Ring of Honor
It will have no bearing on Thursday’s game, but it’s appropriate to mention that former linebacker Matt Blair will become the 20th member of the Vikings Ring of Honor on Thursday night during a halftime ceremony honoring his career.

Blair played 12 seasons (1974-85) with the Vikings and ranks 2nd in franchise history with 1,452 tackles. He was a 2nd-round pick out of Iowa State and immediately made an impact on the Vikings defense, helping the team to Super Bowl IX as a rookie. Blair played on 2 Super Bowl teams with the Vikings, and the club won NFC Central Division titles and went to the playoffs in 6 of his first 7 seasons in the League. Blair had a knack for being in the right place at the right time, illustrated by his 20 blocked kicks. Alan Page (nine) is the only defensive player in club history with more Pro Bowls to his credit.

The Vikings Ring of Honor recognizes Vikings legends for their contributions to the success of the team on and off the field. Members of the Ring of Honor are recognized with a banner on the facade of Mall of America Field’s upper deck, forever living in Vikings lore.


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Final Thoughts: Rushing Offense, Pass Rush Key Vikings Victory

Posted by Mike Wobschall on October 23, 2012 – 6:20 am

The Vikings have a quick turnaround this week, as they’re slated to play on Thursday night in a game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. We’ll turn our full attention to the Vikings-Buccaneers matchup later on Tuesday. But first, here are a few final thoughts from the Vikings 21-14 victory over the Arizona Cardinals.

Getting Home With Four
We identified rushing four defensive linemen and dropping seven defenders into coverage as the defensive key to the game in last week’s Verizon Wireless Winning Formula. The Vikings identified the same strategy as the way to contain Arizona’s offense, and it worked. Cardinals QB John Skelton was sacked 7 times in the game and was constantly under duress. That disrupted the Cardinals passing game and it prevented superstar WR Larry Fitzgerald from ever becoming a factor.

“That was the goal, to go into this game and be able to generate a pass rush without having to bring five or six guys,” Vikings Head Coach Leslie Frazier said on Monday. “Our D-line stepped up to challenge. They dominated just like we hoped they would. It really took a lot of pressure off our secondary and helped them to play a very good game as well. It was great execution, but it started with our guys up front.”

Of the Vikings 7 sacks, 6.0 of them came from defensive linemen. DE Brian Robison had 3.0, DE Jared Allen had 2.0 and DT Kevin Williams had 1.0. The other sack went to CB Antoine Winfield (more on that play later). The pressure generated by the Vikings front four allowed the Vikings secondary and LBs to focus on Arizona’s receivers, specifically Fitzgerald. Only one other team this year (New England Patriots) has held Fitzgerald to fewer catches and receptions than the Vikings, who held the former Holy Angels (Richfield, MN) star to 4 receptions for 29 yards.

Run It, All Day
When you play the Vikings, you know you have to buckle it up and get ready to stop Adrian Peterson. But then, when you’re able to shut down the Vikings passing game almost entirely, you surely know Peterson will be coming at you. Even so, Arizona could not stop the best RB in the NFL. Peterson had his best day on the field since returning from his knee injury, carrying the ball 23 times for 153 yards and 1 TD. On the Vikings two TD drives, Peterson carried the ball a total of 8 times for 87 yards.

Perhaps most impressive about the Vikings rushing performance was the fact that they did it despite Arizona consistently stacking the box to try and slow #28.

“For our running back, Adrian Peterson, who is the premier back, to know they’re going to be in eight-man fronts, nine-man fronts at a time, and be able to rush for 153 yards, that’s the formula for success if you’re in a tough situation throwing the football,” Frazier said. “Credit our guys for buying into that philosophy and finding a way to get a win.”

What I also loved to see was the way the Vikings finished the game. The Vikings were in a precarious situation, holding on to a 7-point lead with :14 to play in the game and a 4th and 5 from the Arizona 33. There was too much time remaining to kneel again because that would give the Cardinals the ball on about the 35 with 12 or so seconds to go. They could use one quick pass to the sideline to put themselves in position to throw a hail mary. Trying a FG was an option, but a miss would give the Cardinals the ball at the spot of the hold, with a chance at a hail mary on the following play. So what did the Vikings do? They gave it to Peterson.

The result was good – an 8-yard gain up the middle for the 1st down, permitting the clock to tick down to zero.

Key Play: Antoine Winfield’s 4th-Down Sack
A key moment in the game came at the 7:47 mark in the 3rd quarter, with Arizona facing a 4th and 2 from the Minnesota 18. The Vikings just took a 21-7 lead on the previous series when Harrison Smith returned an INT 31 yards for a touchdown. With a makeable distance to go on 4th down inside the red zone, Arizona decided a FG wasn’t going to do much for them, so they decided to go for it.

It didn’t work out.

Skelton took the snap and rolled to his right, looking for a receiver in the right flat. That receiver was blanketed by Winfield, so Skelton tucked the ball and attempted to run for the 1st down. Being chased by Robison, Skelton sprinted toward the sideline and the 1st down marker, which prompted Winfield to come off his coverage at the just the right time and administer a crushing blow to Skelton before he could reach the 1st down marker – before he could even get back to the line of scrimmage. Robison got there a split-second later to increase the punishment, and the Cardinals turned the ball over on downs.

It was one of those signature plays from Winfield, a defender who plays with a unique blend of calculation and tenacity.

Vikings Neutralize Patrick Peterson
When it comes to punt returners in the NFL, Patrick Peterson has been Superman. He had a record-setting season returning punts last year as a rookie, scoring 4 TDs and totaling 699 yards on 44 returns. The 4 return TDs tied the NFL single-season record and set a franchise record, and the 699 return yards established an NFL rookie record and ranks as the 2nd-highest single-season total in NFL history (Desmond Howard, 875, 1996).

But when it comes to defending punt returners in the NFL, the Vikings have been Peterson’s Kryptonite. In last year’s matchup, Peterson had zero return yards on 4 Vikings punt. In Sunday’s matchup, Peterson had 7 total return yards on another 4 Vikings punts. Credit goes to Vikings Special Teams Coordinator Mike Priefer, P Chris Kluwe and the team’s punt coverage crew for finding a way to neutralize the explosive and dynamic Peterson.

Harrison Smith’s Temperament Impresses
Vikings rookie S Harrison Smith is off to a fantastic start. Even before his 31-yard pick 6 this past Sunday, Smith was having a great season. Add in that play, which was ultimately the game-winning score, and you can’t be anything but completely excited about how much of an impact player Smith will be for this Vikings defense.

Smith plays the safety position in a way we haven’t seen very much in Minnesota. He’s been fined for illegal hits and he’s been penalized for mixing it up after a play. But the penalties and/or fines that Smith has received after a couple of big-time hits have not caused Smith to temper his aggressiveness. He’s learning to modify his play so that he can remain aggressive while playing within the rules.

“Sometimes when you get fined as often as he’s gotten fined in these first seven games, it can temper your emotions and make you start playing a little tentatively,” Frazier explained. “And that hasn’t been the case with him. He’s been aggressive. He’s still in-tune with everything we’re trying to get done. He doesn’t seem to be sidetracked by anything that happened.

“I remember explaining to him about horse collaring and what happened a week ago against Washington and talking him through it again, although we’ve covered this before. And he said, ‘Okay, I understand.’ Then he just moved on, and that’s the attitude you want to see.”

Now Smith adds a defensive touchdown to his body of work in the NFL. Typically, players who bring that much to the table are emotional and volatile by nature. But that’s not the case with Smith, and that’s impressed Frazier as well.

“His resiliency, his maturity is very, very impressive,” Frazier said. “He’s a bright guy and very athletic but his maturity and just not letting stuff hang on to him that can be negative, that’s impressive.”


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Adrian Peterson, Harrison Smith Up For Weekly Awards

Posted by Mike Wobschall on October 23, 2012 – 6:05 am

Adrian Peterson and Harrison Smith both logged sensational performances in the Vikings 21-14 win over the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday, and for doing so they’ve been nominated for a pair of weekly awards. You have a chance to bring the award home by voting for each of them.

In rushing for 153 yards and 1 TD on 23 carries, Peterson has been named a finalist for FedEx Ground NFL Player of the Week honors. Also named as finalists for the award were Pittsburgh’s Jonathan Dwyer (122 yards on 17 carries) and Tennessee’s Chris Johnson (195 yards and 2 TDs on 18 carries).

After grabbing his first career INT and returning it 31 yards for a TD to go along with 5 tackles, Smith has been named a finalist for Pepsi Max NFL Rookie of the Week honors. Also named as finalists for the award were New England’s Dont’a Hightower, Indianapolis’ Andrew Luck, Tampa Bay’s Doug Martin and Washington’s Alfred Morris.

Fans can vote for Petreson by going to NFL.com/FedEx from 9 a.m. EST on Tuesday through 3 p.m. EST on Friday. The winner in this category will be announced Friday on NFL Total Access on NFL Network and on NFL.com.

Fans can vote for Smith by going to NFL.com/rookies beginning Tuesday at 9 A.M. ET and ending on Friday at 3 P.M. ET. The winner in this category will be announced Friday on NFL Total Access on NFL Network and on NFL.com.


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Frazier Counting On Fans To Help Team In Quick Turnaround

Posted by Mike Wobschall on October 22, 2012 – 6:17 am

NFL coaches encourage their players to spend some time enjoying a hard-fought win before they turn their attention to the next opponent. Vikings Head Coach Leslie Frazier wants his team to enjoy their latest win – a 21-14 decision over Arizona – but he also knows his players and fellow coaches must work hard and work fast early this week because the Vikings will host the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Thursday night in a game that will be televised by NFL Network.

Players will have the day off on Monday before coming back to the team’s facility on Tuesday to prepare for the game. Coaches, of course, will have no such luxury and are already at work in preparing for Thursday’s game. When asked about the quick turnaround during his post-game press conference on Sunday, Frazier explained his team’s plan for the next two days and also explained how he’ll rely on Vikings fans to help his team come through the short week on the winning end.

“We’ll slow it down a little bit,” Frazier said. “They’ll have the day off tomorrow (Monday) to try to get some rest, and then we’ll come back on Tuesday and go to work and try to digest this game plan and come out at home on Thursday night and play a good football game in front of our fans here at Mall of America Field.”

Playing in front of their fans at Mall of America Field has been a good thing in 2012. After going just 1-7 at home last season, the Vikings are 4-0 at Mall of America Field this season. In home games this season, the Vikings defense is allowing just 14.2 points per game, the team is scoring 25.2 points per contest and the team is positive in the take-give ratio.

Frazier has never hesitated to acknowledge the impact Vikings fans have on opposing teams at Mall of America Field. He experienced it as an opposing player and coach for many seasons, and now he’s benefiting from it as Vikings Head Coach. With his team playing on a short week and looking to improve to 6-2 through the first half of the season, Frazier knows it’s important to utilize the great home-field advantage Mall of America Field can provide.

“Our fans have been terrific,” Frazier said. “We’re going to need them to be noisy on that Thursday night and have this place filled up. We want to take advantage. We feel like when we play at home, we have a chance to be a special football team. And we want to get like that on the road, but for now, being at home on Thursday night, we want to take advantage of it here at Mall of America Field.”


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Vikings Ride Defense, Peterson To 21-14 Win Over Cardinals

Posted by Mike Wobschall on October 21, 2012 – 3:46 pm

A familiar combination of ingredients proved to be the winning recipe for the Vikings on Sunday, as they used their stout defense as a base and sprinkled in plenty of Adrian Peterson for good measure along the way to a 21-14 victory at Mall of America Field. The win was the Vikings 5th of the season and their 4th at home.

The Vikings defense continually repelled Arizona’s offense despite the Cardinals frequently obtaining favorable field position. The Cardinals began a series in Vikings territory 4 times during the 1st half, but came away with just 7 points in those drives. The Cardinals had 7 possessions in the 2nd half and scored a TD on the final one to move the score to 21-14, but the Vikings defense dominated in the first 6 possessions, forcing drives to end in a turnover once, downs twice and a punt 3 times.

CB Antoine Winfield had another outstanding performance, leading the team in tackles for the second consecutive week with 11 stops. He also had a sack on a key 4th-down play. DE Brian Robison registered a standout performance as well, dominating his matchup up and down the field while tallying 3.0 sacks and a forced fumble. The Vikings leading tackler for the season – Chad Greenway – had a solid outing with 7 tackles and 1 tackle for loss (TFL). As he usually is, DE Jared Allen was a factor in the game, adding 2.0 more sacks to his season total, which has risen to 6.0 after he had no sacks in the opening two games of the season.

The key play of the game came early in the 3rd quarter, when Vikings rookie S Harrison Smith stepped in front of a John Skelton pass and intercepted it. Smith, a running back in high school, used good vision, some nifty maneuvering and then finally straight-line speed to weave around and then out-sprint Cardinals offensive players all the way to the end zone for a 31-yard TD, giving the Vikings a 21-7 lead.

After the Smith TD, both the Vikings and Cardinals defenses dominated the game. Arizona held the Vikings to just 58 net yards in the 2nd half and Arizona, while able to rack up yardage, was unable to penetrate the Vikings defense and score. It wasn’t until a late 7-play, 79 drive that Arizona reached the end zone again. That made it a one-score game at 21-14, but the Vikings were able to run out the clock on 4 Peterson carries after recovering the ensuing onside kick.

Speaking of Peterson, he turned in another signature performance. He carried the ball 23 times and churned out 153 yards, placing him in a 1st-place tie with Robert Smith for career 100-yard rushing games in Vikings history. Peterson showed no signs of being nagged by an ankle injury that has limited his practice time the past two weeks, as he dashed through the Cardinals defense several times and carried multiple Cardinals defenders for extra yardage on multiple occasions as well.

Percy Harvin scored the offense’s other TD on a 3-yard pass from QB Christian Ponder in which the diminutive playmaker came out of the backfield to catch the pass in the right flat before making a defender miss and finding a seam to reach the ball into the end zone. Harvin finished the day with 4 receptions for 37 yards and the TD. Harvin actually returned the opening kickoff the game 103 yards for a TD, but an illegal block in the back penalty nullified the return and forced the Vikings to begin on their own 8.

Outside of the running game – 27 carries for 166 yards (6.1 yards per carry) – the Vikings offense failed to generate much of a rhythm, especially in the 2nd half. Ponder was 8 of 17 on the day for 58 yards with the TD toss to Harvin and 2 INTs. He was sacked 3 times and under duress for much of the day.

But Peterson was good enough and the defense was dominant enough to take care of the Cardinals on Sunday. It should also be noted that the Vikings special teams group did well in their goal of limiting the Cardinals explosive punt returner – Patrick Peterson. The 5th overall pick in 2011, Peterson had 4 punt return TDs a season ago. But in his meeting with the Vikings last season, he was held to zero return yards on 4 punts. On Sunday against the Vikings, he was once again limited. Peterson had just 7 total return yards on 4 opportunities and was forced to call 1 fair catch.

In analyzing the overall offensive performance, the late TD allowed by the defense and the 7 penalties for 35 yards called against them, this isn’t the most impressive win of the season. But in the NFL, you never apologize for winning a game. There are too many times when a team plays well but still winds up on the losing end of the scoreboard.

A win is a win, and the Vikings found their 5th of the 2012 season, moving them to 5-2 overall and 3-1 in the NFC.

“A good win for our football team,” Vikings Head Coach Leslie Frazier said. “It’s tough to get wins in the National Football League. We played a good football team today, one that I’m sure in December will be battling for a spot in the playoffs. They’ve got some good players. Our guys battled and battled, and found a way to get a win at home.”

Depending on what happens on Monday night in Chicago, where the Bears are slated to host the Detroit Lions, the Vikings could finish the week atop the NFC North standings. The Bears currently sit at 4-1, meaning a loss would drop them below the Vikings in the standings at 4-2, while a win would put them in 1st place.

The Vikings must turn around quickly this week and prepare for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Vikings and Buccaneers, former NFC Central rivals from 1977-2001, will battle at Mall of America Field on NFL Network’s Thursday Night Football.


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Vikings-Cardinals Inactives

Posted by Ryan Cardinal on October 21, 2012 – 9:35 am

Here are the inactive Vikings players for today’s game against the Cardinals.

QB McLeod Bethel-Thompson, WR Jarius Wright, CB B. Burton, S Mistral Raymond, LB Audie Cole, OL Mark Asper, and DE D’Aundre Reed.

Here are the Cardinals’ inactives: QB Kevin Kolb, S Kerry Rhodes, CB Greg Toler, FB Anthony Sherman, LB Reggie Walker, G Senior Kelemete, and TE Todd Heap.


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Vikings-Cardinals Broadcast Information

Posted by Mike Wobschall on October 21, 2012 – 8:44 am

After two consecutive 3:15 p.m. CT kickoffs, the Vikings have returned to their standard Sunday, noon CT kickoff today.

The Vikings and Cardinals game from Mall of America Field pits a pair of 4-2 teams against one another. Today’s game will be televised by FOX, with Chris Myers handling play-by-play and Tim Ryan providing analysis. Jaime Maggio will be the sideline reporter.

Of course you can catch the game on the Vikings Radio Network, too. The game will be on KFAN-FM 100.3/KTCN-AM 1130 locally. Paul Allen and Pete Bercich will call the action from the booth and Greg Coleman will handle sideline reporting duties. The Vikings Radio Network pre-game show, with Mike Mussman as host and yours truly joining about 40 minutes prior to kickoff, begins at 1:00 p.m. CT.


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